In 2013 Tyrrell Hatton played in the Dubai Festival City Challenge Tour Grand Final hosted by Al Badia Golf Club, the season-ending tournament on the 2013 Challenge Tour.
He finished tied sixth, six shots behind winner Shiv Kapur. And by finishing 10th in the season long Challenge Tour Rankings, he earned his playing privileges on the European Tour for 2014. Hatton then stood 421st in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR).
Hatton turned professional in 2011 and progressed to the Challenge Tour through the development tours on both the Jamega Pro Golf Tour in the UK and then to the PGA EuroPro Tour with a collective three wins along the way.
Seven years later, Hatton is now a Ryder Cup player (2018), a four time ROLEX Series winner, winner on the PGA Tour and winner of last week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
In 2013, Hatton earned season long prize money of €92,000 on the Challenge Tour.
Last week alone he won $1,335,000 in Abu Dhabi.
The 29-year-old Englishman from Buckinghamshire now stands proudly as the World Number five, with only Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa ahead of him in the rankings.
But he has had his injury challenges with a successful wrist operation in late November, 2019.
Hatton’s rise, though, has been consistent, impressive and commendable.
I am not sure if there are many golfers in the professional world who have played as well as Hatton over the last year or so!
As recently as October 2019, Hatton was just 49th in the OWGR.
Playing in both this week’s Dubai Desert Classic as well as next week’s Saudi International, there’s plenty of scope for Hatton to at least maintain and perhaps enhance his current OWGR status.
He always seems so comfortable these days in both his skin as well as the Middle East region, having finished runner-up in the 2016 DP World Tour Championship at Jumeirah Golf Estates and earned a third place finish in the 2018 Dubai Desert Classic.
On the Ryder Cup points lists, Hatton sits second in both the European Points and the World Points tables, and seems a shoe-in for the 2021 European Team in September at Whistling Straits, Wisconsin.
When in form, Hatton is a player that keeps the momentum and confidence going and he has won previously in consecutive weeks, a testimony to his mental and physical strength and character.
It is also interesting to reflect on the players featuring in the career changing week in 2013 for Hatton in Dubai.
Shiv Kapur won the Al Badia tournament. Others in the 44-player field included Byeong Hun An, Dubai resident Adrian Otaegui, Dylan Fritelli, Wil Besseling and Nacho Elvira.
In the Challenge Tour Rankings of 2013, the number one was Andrea Pavan, Hatton was 10th and others in the rankings included four-time Major winner Brooks Koepka at 4, Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston at 68, Brandon Stone at 81, Thomas Pieters at 153 and Haotong Li at 192.
Hatton and others have shown everyone that hard work, health and fitness, talent, patience, perseverance, discipline and a bit of luck along the way, can show results.
GOLF TOURNAMENTS THIS WEEK
January 28th – 31st, 2021
Farmers Insurance Open
Venue: Torrey Pines (South)
Purse: $7.5 million.
January 28th – 31st, 2021
Omega Dubai Desert Classic
Venue: Emirates Golf Club, Majlis Course
Purse: $3.25 million.
Coverage on TV (Dubai Sports Channel / UAE Times):
Thursday 7.30 – 12.30 & 15.00 – 17.00
Fri 11.00 – 17.00
Sat 12.00 – 17.00
Sun 11.00 – 17.00
No Tournament this week.
PGA Champions Tour
Jan 31st – Feb 1st, 2021
Venue: Samanah Golf Club, Marrakech, Morocco.
Purse: $2 million
Hruncakova and Snigur in fine form as Gulf region's oldest tournament for women opens